* Deadline Extended to August 28, 2020 *

The AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Food Vendors provides support for food vendors to purchase equipment that will help improve their market access to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic (summer and fall of 2020).

Eligible Applicants

Food vendors that sell into institutional school wholesale markets, including:

  • Agricultural producers (farmers, ranchers, agricultural cooperatives)
  • Restaurants
  • Processors
  • Food hubs
  • Food distributors
  • Food service management companies

We encourage schools to apply for the AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grant for Schools.

Eligible Projects

Expenses must make immediate impact on your organization’s ability to make food sales to schools in Minnesota. Project examples include, but are not limited to, equipment for:

  • Food storage
  • Food safety (including record keeping and cleaning)
  • Food packaging
  • Food processing (dicing, chopping, etc.)
  • Transportation

We encourage projects led by and/or grant activities that increase market access and sales for Emerging Farmers and/or small-scale producers (gross revenue less than $250,000). See the Request for Proposals for more information.

If your project is approved, grant funds must be spent between July 1 and December 31, 2020.

Amount Available

We expect to award up to $174,000 to build Farm to School capacity in Minnesota through this grant for vendors and the grant for schools. Funding for these two programs comes from the Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Program (Minnesota Statute 41A.12).

  • Vendors may apply for $1,000 to $5,000.
  • This grant requires a 1:1 match.
    • Matching funds can be in the form of cash, loans, other grants, or liquid capital assets dedicated to the project. However, other state funds, such as an AGRI Value-Added Grant, cannot be used for the matching funds.

Applying

We will accept applications until 4:00 p.m. CDT on August 28, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first.
(As of August 13, 2020, we estimate that $20,000 is still available.)

Apply through our online application system.

Read the Request for Proposals (PDF) for all eligibility and requirements. If you have questions or need this information in an alternative format, please contact the program administrator, Courtney VanderMey.

We will review applications on a biweekly basis, prioritizing those submitted by or creating market opportunity for Emerging Farmers, including women, immigrant farmers, and farmers of color, or small farmers (less than $250,000 per year gross revenue). It may take two to six weeks for us to notify you of your application status. We will update the availability of funds biweekly on our website.